Canada’s U18 national team preparing for pair of games at 2016 International Bowl series
Football Canada – ARLINGTON, TX (January 30, 2016) – Football Canada’s under-18 national team is preparing to take on Team USA in a pair of games at the 2016 International Bowl series at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The squad selected from the under-18 national championship, the 2015 Football Canada Cup, will take on the U.S. U19 selects on Sunday January 31 at 6 p.m. CT, followed by the U.S. U18 national team on Wednesday, February 3 at 7 p.m. CT. The entire eight game series can be seen live online, outside the U.S., by visiting www.footballcanada.com or www.internationalbowl.com.
Both Canada’s U18 and U19 national teams began training camp on Monday in the Lone Star State, preparing for this year’s series against the U.S. national teams.
This year’s Football Canada Cup winning head coach, BRAD COLLINSON, of Quebec-Blue, will serve as Canada’s U18 head coach while the remainder of the coaching staff is comprised of coaches from each of the national championship’s participating provincial teams. Collinson previously served as head coach of Canada’s U18 International Bowl squad in the game’s inaugural installment in 2014.
Facing two difficult U.S. opponents, Canada’s U18 national team is taking the series one game at a time.
“For now, we’re only concentrating on our first game,” said Collinson. “We’ll get to the second game when the time comes. Right now, we’re still in training camp mode, getting the kids acclimatized to what we’re trying to do and also having them come together as a team.”
Canada’s U18 national team head into their third International Bowl undefeated, after taking the 2015 edition at AT&T Stadium, 25-9, while in 2014, they defeated their U.S counterparts, 54-9, at Maverick Stadium.
Team Canada will benefit from the return of last year’s U18 game MVP, JEVANTE STANLEY. The Brampton, Ontario native rushed 14 times for 166 yards and two touchdowns at the 2015 International Bowl. Also returning for his second trip to AT&T Stadium, as a member of the U18 national team, is Champlain-Lennoxville defensive tackle SIDY SOW.
Canada’s returning player of the game, from 2015, could be a difference maker against the Americans once again.
“Jevante is a very special, he’s got a speed that no one else has,” explained Collinson.
Anchoring a strong Canadian contingent are quarterback MASON NYHUS (Regina, SK/Riffel), defensive back KAYLYN SMITH ST-CYR (La Prairie, QC/Vanier), and kicker VINCENT BLANCHARD (St-Germain-de-Grantham/Ch.-Lennoxville), the respective 2015 offensive, defensive and special teams Football Canada Cup tournament MVPs.
Amongst the trio, the squad’s kicker could play an important role in the field position game.
“I think Vincent Blanchard is going to be pretty good for us – he’s got a strong leg and could turn field position into our favour,” said Canada’s head coach.
Amongst a strong Canadian defense, defensive backs, BRUNO LAGACÉ (Boucherville, Que.) and TYRELL RICHARDS (Brampton, Ont.) are two dominant football players to keep a close eye on.
As part of Football Canada’s national teams program, this year’s International Bowl serves as the final step in the selection process for the Junior National Team.
Canada’s U18 and U19 national team programs represent a pool of identified players in preparation for the 2016 worlds. Based on player’s performances at this year’s International Bowl, a roster of 45 players will be selected to represent their country at the 2016 IFAF U19 World Championship in China.
The International Bowl, held to coincide with NCAA’s National Signing Day, was established in 2010 as an annual Team USA versus the World game until it transitioned into its current format in 2014. The event is a collaboration of the sport’s national governing bodies in each country – USA Football and Football Canada – featuring top student-athletes in football’s greatest annual international competition.
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Canada’s U18 national team, 2016 International Bowl
U18 Coaching staff
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About Football Canada
Established in 1884, Football Canada is the national governing body of amateur football in Canada and a proud member of the International Federation of American Football (IFAF). Working closely with the provincial football associations, we develop programs and resources for players, coaches, officials in the three disciplines of Tackle, Flag and Touch Football. Football Canada’s vision statement is “from playground to stadium” where players can participate in the game of football throughout a lifetime recreationally, competitively and internationally.